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Disney Creates New Mid-Air Haptic Technology 62

An anonymous reader sends word of a new technology from Disney called AIREAL, featured at this year's SIGGRAPH 2013 conference in Anaheim, CA. It's designed to give tactile sensations to people who are using motion control devices. The device can track a target, like a user's hand, and send a compressed ring of air quickly through the intervening space to provide haptic feedback. They say the device is both inexpensive and scalable. Several of its parts are easily 3-D printed.

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Disney Creates New Mid-Air Haptic Technology

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  • 3D Boobs (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Title says it all. I predict this will be one of the first commercial applications of this wonderful new technology.

    • Never mind boobs, this thing will revolutionise blow jobs.
      • Re:3D Boobs (Score:4, Funny)

        by gagol ( 583737 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @10:24PM (#44339829)
        You know a blow job is not simply blowing air on a penis, right? There is a suction part missing to make it happens.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Use the other end of the device.

        • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Sunday July 21, 2013 @12:09AM (#44340139) Journal

          I know that the context of this thread hardly lends itself to serious speculation but I was just wondering...

          Since "puffs" of air are basically over-pressure waves in a medium, can an apparatus be made to make an "under" pressure wave? In air, or water or other mediums? Prurient applications aside there might be some useful applications (I used to work in the theme park industry so water shows come to mind). Maybe if a cavitation bubble (which I understand is an under-pressure volume) could be projected, it could be an effective underwater weapon (they damage propellers on ships and submarines). Perhaps an acoustic under-pressure wave could damage eardrums or supress audio (useful for crowd control). How about undersea trench laying for fiber optic cables?

          Most likely though there is something about the non-linear response of under-pressure waves that would prevent them from being used in a practical application. Then my next question would be, did the Disney researchers try using a pressure wave shaped in a soliton? This might enable it to travel great(er) distances without losing its "shape". Or are solitons even possible in compressive versus transverse waves?

          Wouldn't be the first time the porn industry helped accelerate the adoption of a whole industry! (VCRs).

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            tl;dr: You can't push on a rope, and nature abhors a vacuum.

            You can easily create an underpressure wave by moving an object through a fluid. The region of underpressure follows behind the object, as the object has temporarily moved all the fluid out of the way. However, as soon as the object passes, the fluid rushes in to fill the underpressure region.

            Acoustic overpressure (aka fucking loud sounds) destroys eardrums just fine. Any sound loud enough to shake the air back and forth to the point where bubbles

    • Have yourself fun, fucking the Mario Bros, dude.

  • Disney is evil, constantly pushing for increasing copyright terms, and stealing our culture from us.

    They built the company upon other's original works (brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Mark Twain, etc.), and now want keep others from having a similar opportunity.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, if Disney grows from products they conceived and developed themselves this kinda does change that fact.
    • Same company but disney does a lot with robotics, and other technolgies combining them in wayss you wouldn't think about. Their theme parks are a example of some really cool really practical advanced tech being used to it's limits.

      the thing is most of it is hidden behind smoke, mirrors, and costumes so you never see it or hear it. They call it disney magic.

      • Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

        Disney's parks are chock-full of the latest feats of engineering. In fact, that was pretty much the original plan for EPCOT - a self-contained community for trying out upcoming technology. Sadly capitalism got in the way of that plan, but I digress...

        Disney loves to not just brag about their latest feats, but they'll also happily show off their existing mechanisms. Each park has a behind-the-scenes tour that covers most of the major engineering, and the general workings of p

  • by MSRedfox ( 1043112 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @08:26PM (#44339383)
    The idea of this mixed with an Oculus Rift would be amazing. We're getting close to the virtual reality they teased me with as a child.
    • by Alejux ( 2800513 )
      If only this wasn't being developed by Disney; the most evil, money grubbing company that exists. They probably secured the patent for this for the next 800 years and will sue anyone who tries to use air-based haptics this century.
      • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

        If only this wasn't being developed by Disney; the most evil, money grubbing company that exists. They probably secured the patent for this for the next 800 years and will sue anyone who tries to use air-based haptics this century.

        Let's not break out the hyperbole. Copyright extension sucks, but there are a lot of other companies out there committing worse evils on a daily basis.

      • Disney; the most evil, money grubbing company that exists.

        Not Oracle? I work in development and pre-sales and from my world view, I am certain that there has to be a hell and there has to be a special circle there for the Oracle decision makers.

  • by DexterIsADog ( 2954149 ) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @09:04PM (#44339527)
    Are there applications for interactive porn? I don't know how much push they can put in those air rings, but if it's enough to stimulate a penis, I say... blow me.
    • by The Cat ( 19816 ) *

      How about another porn post. Because you know, we didn't get it the first 118,000 times some neckbeard fuck snort-laughed while he posted "boobs."

      • Mine was the first porn reference to the story, mine was a little cleverer than most, and, oh yeah...

        Go fuck yourself, you humorless, dried up killjoy. I looked at some of the "wisdom" in your other posts.

        1 - You're very angry.
        2 - Everyone else is stupid because they don't think just like you.
        3 - You like to use the word "penis" a lot. I mean, A LOT.

        Lighten up, Francis.
        • by The Cat ( 19816 ) *

          I'm not angry. I write every post with a smile on my face.

          There was a time when Slashdot wasn't a gaggle of dicks.

          Sadly that time has passed.

          • Whether the community has changed, or you have ossified and become irrelevant, you're not a good fit here. By all means, keep venting. I read some of your posts, and they are somewhat amusing, like watching a Roomba bump up against the same sneaker over and over.

            Feel free to respond with something ad hominem, but this isn't a conversation, and I won't read it.
  • Disney has such cool technology and amazing implementation from their theme parks to their cruise ships. It's fascinating to watch how they do things.

    Meanwhile, the Disney Channel is so full of terrible awful nauseating acting and relentless fake laugh tracks that I can't stand when my kids have it on the other room. I make them turn it off. 5 other things on TV at any time that are much better for them and that they like (And yes OFF is the best setting). Yet you turn to any full length animate

    • Disney is an IP company. The vision of Walter has long since been dead only for the momentum of his IP to carry the name forward. It's about purchasing cheap toys and talent and marking them up to insane levels. Give it another generation or two and Disney will be just another ho hum name. BFD!

      Anyone notice the lack of innovation and the shitty re-design of the Mac Pro? Apple is trending the same path after Jobs left. Ditto for Microsoft after Gates. Companies that thrived off leadership of one man are doom

      • The vision of Walter has long since been dead only for the momentum of his IP to carry the name forward.

        To be fair, at least according to Disney's biographers (I'm thinking Neal Gabler specifically here), merchandising and long-term franchises were a key part of his "vision" for family entertainment, perhaps not at first but for a great proportion of his career. He rigorously defended his company's trademarks and IP long before it was stylish to do so; this is the who, when he was young, he practiced his o

    • It's like the difference between Microsoft's research division and the rest of that company. Totally different groups, with totally different goals. Aside from sharing some IP* they could be completely different companies.

      My largest worry about this device is the lawyers. It's a neat concept, but they're going to patent it up the wazoo. Not the specific tech mind you, but the idea. Now no one can "Use an air pulse to provide haptic feedback" without getting their pants sued off by Disney.


    • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

      It's hard to understand the total disparity in quality.

      One group handles film, animation, and theme parks.

      Other groups handle TV, ESPN, other subsidiaries.

  • So what happens if this thing blows its load right into the face of some tot and shoves some dust into precious' eyes? The little snowflake might be blinded! I see lawsuit written large in the future of this thing.

    It doesn't matter how cool or useful something is; the over-zealous litigatory nature of American society will probably keep this from getting into common usage.

    But what do I know; I'm just a grumpy old man who misses his lawn darts ;-)

    • > The over-zealous litigatory nature of American society...

      It's a global trend. I suspect it's correlated with the advent of powerful insurance companies: once you can get sued to bankrupcy for too many trivial reasons, your only reaction is to get insurance against such risks.

  • I would say this is a great tool, when used in surround configuration, to enhance horror game experience.

    You know, the "for optimal experience, play in a dark room with headphones" ones.

  • Great potential for a lot of different technologies and a whole new interface method for the blind.
    • Come to think of it, couldn't you simulate the experiencing of audio and hearing using the same principles, but using our tactile senses as the receivers instead of our aural ones. Someone could listen by feel, the same way that someone like Beethoven used to compose music as his hearing got worse.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"